Kirk looks to challenging future
May we introduce Lucy Kirk – a former premiership rugby player, Great Britain Handballer and national level Discus thrower – it was only a matter of time before further honours came knocking for this pedigree sportswoman, but let’s take a step back before we come full-circle and find out a little more about the latest Defensive addition…
How did you get involved in football?
LK: Quite a funny story actually…one Friday night about 18 months ago, I was sat in my local Indian curry house, in Anstey, Leicestershire, when I saw a local magazine on the coffee table in the restaurant with a picture of a female Great Britain American football player on the front cover. I scrolled to the double page article and it turned out to be a write up on the Euro’s. I recognised a number of faces that I had played rugby with over the years and so decided that it was about time I got back into team sport after having done athletics for a year or so. The rest, as they say, is history!!
What appealed about football, over other sports you have played?
LK: There’s no doubt that reconnecting with a team for its camaraderie and seeking a physical sport was a massive drive for me to try out football. I really enjoy the contact element of football and training and playing with team mates, which I found I had missed since finishing playing rugby 5 years ago.
You were a Derby Brave first right?
LK: Yes. I contacted BAFA to find a local club and Derby was the closest to where I was living at the time. The club were very welcoming and made it easy for me to transition to a new sport, initially playing flag and then moving on to contact football.
How was your first experience of kitted/tackle football?
LK: I was slightly nervous initially due to having been out of a contact sport for a number of years! However, I absolutely loved it, I enjoyed the physicality of it and the focus required to play the game.
Having made your Great Britain debut against Spain this September you’ve had a pretty fast rise to the top of the game, what do you put that down to and have you been surprised by it?
LK: I’ve been extremely surprised by it, and it still very much seems like a dream I’m meant to be waking up from…but hey, I’m absolutely loving playing football at the top level. I love the commitment physically, the hours on the pitch and in the gym. I enjoy challenges both physically and mentally and that’s exactly what this sport is giving me. I guess I would put my recent success down to the skill set I have gained from other sports and the ability to commit to trying to make myself the best athlete I can be.
You’ve joined Birmingham this year, what was the reason for that?
LK: Football is growing so fast right now, with more and more women’s teams being created almost monthly. With this is mind, and with time not really on my side, I needed a new challenge and wanted to test myself week in, week out, against some of the best players in the country, which is what the Lions represent.
To be pushed, to fight to gain a starting position at club level, in my eyes will only aid in making me a better player and hopefully solidify my position as a Linebacker within the national team. Sport holds no prisoners and from my experience you’ve got to be slightly selfish, constantly trying to push and improve yourself whilst surrounding yourself with people who have the same goal as you, this will make me grow as a player I hope and I’m also a big believer in getting outside that comfort zone!
You’re travelling with the team to Finland next year to play 9s, no other British women’s team has managed this – what do you expect to gain from this experience?
LK: It’s going to be incredible to be the first team in Britain to be taking on this challenge, what a way to prepare for this year’s campaign! Personally, I hope to keep increasing my knowledge of the game and more importantly to get my first game under the belt as a “Part of the Pride.”
…and following that, the Sapphire Series awaits – what are your thoughts ahead of going in to the series with your new team?
LK: I’m extremely excited and can’t wait to get on the pitch with the rest of the Lions to put all the hard work on the training ground into play and see what the opposition has to bring to the party. It will be interesting this year with lots of squads increasing in size and a number of players who came through the national set up, moving teams to step up from 5’s to 7’s.
Exciting times ahead indeed and with Kirk sharing the Lions’ Linebacker-roster alongside the infamous Schecter, Moore, Law and Smith, alongside a duo of exciting new rookies, 2017 promises to be a vintage year for the Lions’ #DemolitionCrew.